I have finally found it.
What works for me.
You see, I like gadgets. So using a blood glucose meter for me was a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a new gadget to mess around with, yet on the other, I really don’t want to be pricking my fingers. And then there was the whole question on what to do with the information it provided.
Some people write their BG#’s in a log, some use software on their smart phones, or on their computer, on the web, or of course the meter itself usually logs it.
It turns out to be a lot of data, but what do you do with it?
If it just sits there on your meter, or in a list or table on your phone or computer, what good does that do you? Maybe you take it to your Doctor appointments a couple times a year, and he looks at it.
Ultimately, numbers without any meaning or context are just numbers. They don’t mean anything. So I’m happy to say that after a year and a half of logging numbers, I’ve finally found what works for me.
First, I started testing my BG, and since I’m “gadgety”, I found an app for my phone to log the results (I quickly saw that the on-meter information was lacking), and tried each month to export the data to a spreadsheet on my computer, which I printed out to show my Doc. And that worked OK. Not elegant, but it worked.
Then I started looking for other apps that would make the process easier, or the data more informative. I ended up with two apps on my phone, and I would log the results in each. I couldn’t decide between the two, one was dead simple, the other too complicated but offered more options, like carb logging. I was also using a couple of apps to look up & log carbs during all of this.
Then I bought a small tablet, and found a logging app for it also, so now I was logging in three different apps. I figured the repetition was good, and was helping to develop the habit of testing and logging. In reality it was kind of a pain in the ass.
One day I was online and saw the Bayer Contour Next meter. It is basically a USB stick meter, with software that syncs your results on your computer. It was a gadget! I had a coupon for a free one with purchase of the test strips (which I have found is pretty typical with most manufacturers), and I had to jump through a few hoops with my pharmacy and my doctor to get everything switched and get the meter and strips, but it has been worth it.
I started using the Contour Next USB meter in mid August, and immediately liked it. It also logs carbs, and can sync that info with the software on the computer too. I was still using the other apps on my phone and tablet though, and continued doing that until a couple of weeks ago.
I found Glooko.
Glooko is an app for Android and iOS, and it syncs with the Glooko website, all are nicely laid out. Its real magic though, is that you can buy an adapter for your Glucose meter to connect with the app on your phone or tablet. I am using it with my Nexus 7 tablet, and it is great. The only drawback is that it can’t sync the carb information from the meter, according to Glooko that is too complicated (which I suspected, as the carb info from the meter also does not tag food type, so what would it match it too besides a number?), so for now I still need to enter carbs manually in the meter (for syncing to the PC software), in my Fatsecret app on my phone (where I look up the carbs), and in the Glooko app. I settled on the Fatsecret app because it has carb information easily readable and keeps running total. I keep the small cable in my meter bag and can sync the meter easily and quickly. The reports that Glooko generates can be faxed, emailed or printed, and are very readable and informative. I can’t wait to impress my doctor at my next appointment.
So naturally, after I found my new system, I received a letter in the mail from CVS stating that my insurance would not be covering the Contour Next strips starting in 2014, and that I could switch to a couple of other brands that would be covered. I have a Contour Choice discount card that I may be able to use and keep it affordable enough to continue to use the Bayer meter I love, but if it doesn’t work out, I could purchase another cable adapter for the Glooko app that works with the other meters.
So, I’ve finally found What Works For Me, for now at least.